One of the profitable businesses in Nigeria is a lounge or bar business also known as beer parlour business. Bar business is profitable because all Nigerians drink and they love to have a good time relaxing after the day’s job and during weekends. Although we have a huge number of Nigerians that drink alcohol we have other than some who do not drink.
But even at this Nigerians who do not drink alcohol still love to have a good time by drinking juice or Chapman or soft drinks as a form of relaxation. Asides from the huge demand for alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks in Nigeria as a form of relaxation, there are also foods like pepper soup, roasted fish, asun, and suya that are in demand in bars. In Nigeria, bar business or lounge is lucrative as long as you get a few things right.
Some of these things are location, customer attraction, customer service, and the ability to keep drinks and foods well. So far in Nigeria, I have visited a few bars, especially in Lagos, and what I can tell you their owners make money week in and week out. When other jobs or work closes at 5 PM every weekday in Nigeria bar business begins at 6 PM and never ends till daybreak.
It is said that they make more money during weekends as they open at 12PM and close 6AM. In a bar business, there are things you need to also put in place to make things run well. Things like security and also rules and regulation for everyday customers because it is often said anywhere there is no law there’s no sin. I am saying this because I have witnessed some bars closed down all in the name of fights that got people injured or killed. Security, rules, and regulations protect you and your bar business from customers and the government.
Is Bar Business Profitable?
Beer parlour business is a profitable and lucrative business in Nigeria as long as you know how to attract your customers and retain your customers and you are able to get your drinks from the right places with favourable prices. Whether it is beer, palm wine, cocktail drinks or alcoholic drinks, or non-alcoholic drinks as long as you know where you can buy these drinks at the lowest prices and are able to sell them at a higher price you will make huge profits. An example is a beer bought at N179 and sold at N250.
It is also profitable or lucrative because you make money from the business every day not only on drinks but on other businesses you operate in the bar lounge-like sales of food, operation of a relaxation center, and establishment of a football viewing center.
Capital Needed to Start Bar Business
To start a bar or lounge business in Nigeria you will need a capital of N500,000 – N2,000,000 as the capital you need depends on the area you want the business to be. If it is in a low-income area – a rural area the capital you will need to start the bar business cannot be more than N500k. But if the area you want to set up the bar business in an urban area it will cost you more – probably up to N2M.
This capital can be self-invested if you have the money or borrowed from a reliable source but my best advice here is that you start with what you have and as time goes by grow the business.
Equipment Needed for Bar Business
There are the equipment needed when it comes to starting a bar business, beer parpour business, or lounge business in Nigeria. These are:
2. Wine shelves
8. Wine and Beer cups
To put all the electric equipment in their right places you might need the services of an electrician and to put all the furniture in place you might need the services of a carpenter.
Drinks Sold in Lounge Business
Below are the different types of drinks you can sell for your bar business in Nigeria. These are:
2. Soft drink
3. Wine (Red and Other Kinds of Wine)
6. Water (Bottled)
7. Energy drinks
Now, let’s go on to discuss how to start and run a bar in Nigeria.
How to Start Beer Parlour Business in Nigeria
How to start and run a profitable bar business in Nigeria.
1. Get the Required Capital
When it comes to opening a bar business in Nigeria or a lounge business or a beer parlour business the first step you need to take is getting your capital. As we usually say capital is important in any business except of cause you’re into charity business. You need capital not just to rent a shop or space but also to buy furniture, lights, cooking equipment, and drinks.
And the larger the capital you invest in your bar business the bigger the profits you will make in the business. It is just like any other business in Nigeria as regards capital.
2. Rent a Shop or Space
When it comes to setting up a bar business in Nigeria you can either rent a shop or space. A shop is good in the sense that it permits your bar business to be on the side of any major road of your choice while space is good as it helps you to accommodate more customers in one sitting. Basically, if you rent a space your customers will not need to wait for each other before they can have seats to relax and drink.
If it is a shop you can have about 30 customers at a sitting but if it is a space you can have as many as 100 customers at a sitting depending on how big the space is and how you are able to manage it. Asides from considering whether to rent a shop or space for your bar business you need to also consider the location where you want the bar to be.
Remember your business is about selling foods and drinks to Nigerians. You cannot sell if your bar business is located where people cannot see you or find you easily. Make sure any place you are renting for your bar business is a place where thousands of likely customers pass every day whether on their way back from work or on their way out of their houses.
3. Set up your Bar Business
After you have gotten your shop or space the next step you should take is to set up your bar. In setting up your bar you need to consider the positions where your wine counter will be, the kitchen, store, refrigerators, generator, and furniture (table and chairs) for customers. In this case, it is best for your kitchen and store to be in an area where people will have less access to.
Only your bar workers should have access to these areas. Let us quickly talk about the important equipment you will need to set up a bar business in Nigeria.
4. Buy your Drinks Wholesale
After installing the equipment in your bar and making sure everything is fine, proceed to buy the drinks for your bar. These drinks should be bought assorted so as to be able to satisfy each customer’s need. Also, it should be bought from wholesalers so that you can get the drinks at their lowest prices and to be able to sell at any price you desire.
Since beer is the cheapest alcoholic drink and the highest drink in demand at bars you can buy more of it than any other drink. Shoprite buys all its drinks from wholesalers sometimes even from the manufacturing companies itself. This is why their drinks are the cheapest compared to drinks sold in any other malls or shops.
Although Shoprite cannot be considered a bar business it still shows us how they are wise in their buying. All drinks (beers, wine, spirits, and champagne) should be bought and stored in a store with lock and key.
5. Start Selling Drinks
Since your business is different because you open at night instead of the day you can use the daytime to prepare ahead. During the day time, you can put all drinks needed for the night in the fridge and also go to the market to buy foodstuff for customers that will likely order some food alongside their drinks.
Food ingredients like, fish (croaker and catfish), goat head, pepper soup ingredients, and the like should be bought and kept in the fridge till they will be needed at night by customers. Note: Catfish should be kept alive for customers who like to point and kill.
On the evening of the first day of business, open your bar, and make the place lively by playing some loud music this will attract customers into the bar. Also, invite your friends and family to your bar to come hang out there.
6. Employ Helping Hands
Some tips on how to run a bar. Bar business can be very tiring especially when you have too many customers on ground to attend to at the same time so to reduce the stress you can employ other people that can help you run the business. If you cannot employ staff because of the inability to pay them salary, for now, you can employ your family to help and give them tips instead.
7. Keep your Bar Clean Always
Hygiene is very important in a bar. The inability to maintain this can cause unpleasant smells and this is not good for your customers and sanitation officers that will be coming around for inspection often. They can lock down your bar business just because of this so it is very important to keep the bar clean before and after the close of business.
8. Manage Bar Expenses
Expenses like electricity bills can be a huge expense if you run your bar business both on NEPA and generator so my best advice for you here is to cut off your business from NEPA and run only on gen – putting on your gen only during business hours.
9. Attracting Customers in Bar Business
There are different ways you can attract customers to your bar business in Nigeria. Some of these are:
A. Give Good Customer Service
Although this sounds like a cliché good customer service is still scarce when you visit bars today. So you can attract more customers to your bar by just giving quality customer service to people who will be visiting your bar, especially the first-timers.
B. Provide Adequate Security
I talked about this briefly in my introduction. No one will want to be in a place where they are not sure of their security which includes their lives and property. You can attract customers to your bar by providing security in and around your bar. When customers know that they are safe anytime they come to relax they will always want to visit your bar.
C. Encourage Live Events and Parties
You can also attract huge customers to your bar business by encouraging and allowing people to host their birthday bashes and live events like comedy shows. For a start you can charge for a token for these events and as time goes by increase the charges. You will also be making profits by doing this because they will buy drinks needed for the events from you.
Bar business in Nigeria is lucrative if you can follow all tips given in this article. Remember that you can start small for now and as time goes by grow the business.